Cootamundra's remote control pilots are up and away thanks to government grant

For the Cootamundra Aeromodellers Association, a $6500 grant will make help support the group’s future for a long time.

UPWARD: Association president Grahame James, treasurer Alan Roberts and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. Photo: Declan Rurenga

UPWARD: Association president Grahame James, treasurer Alan Roberts and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. Photo: Declan Rurenga

On Saturday, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke unveiled the generator the funding grant had paid for.

Association treasurer Alan Roberts said the generator would be used to power everything from fridges to the coffee machine.

The coffee and bacon and egg rolls offered by the association during its flying days were well renowned in model aeroplane circles.

“The canteen helps fund our local club, so our memberships are low for our fliers,” Mr Roberts said.

As well as boasting members from Cootamundra, Canberra, Narrandera, Griffith and Temora, remote control (RC) pilots are attracted from around Australia because of the 1000 foot (300 metre) flying height.

Having the generator means the club can add another fundraiser, providing a hot roast dinner for pilots travelling from around the country.

REVEAL: Alan Roberts, Steph Cooke and Grahame James at the unveiling of the generator for the Cootamundra Aeromodellers Association. Photo: Declan Rurenga

REVEAL: Alan Roberts, Steph Cooke and Grahame James at the unveiling of the generator for the Cootamundra Aeromodellers Association. Photo: Declan Rurenga

The funding grant is from the state government’s Community Building Partnerships program, which has $330,000 allocated for Cootamundra – the fourth biggest electorate in NSW.

Ms Cooke said she had been impressed by the association’s funding application, which stood out from $1.2 million worth of applications across the electorate.

“What I love about this initiative is that it keeps giving people – year after year – the opportunity to look at their existing offerings and to think about what else they could do to encourage greater membership or participation,” Ms Cooke said.

“This grassroots funding directly benefits our community in that it delivers vital new infrastructure which can only make a positive difference in the local area,” she said.

Mr Roberts said visitors were welcome to see what the Aeromodellers did during their flying days.

“Never mind flying planes on the computer, it’s much more fun flying planes for real here,” he said.